“Built for the late and great Victorian yachtsman Lou Abrahams, the Sparkman & Stephens (S&S) 42 design is a head-turner…
… A bundle of hand-written and typed letters now in (current owner) Reece’s possession describe how how Abrahams wrote to S&S requesting a minimum handicap rater for the 1971 Admiral’s Cup. He learned they were working on a 42-footer for a Lord in the UK and the designers suggested the two owners share the design cost, which they did.
Vittoria was built by Cec Quilkey in cold-moulded Oregon four diagonal planks building up to a hull thickness of one inch. It has an 8.8 tonne weigh-in but is only 30 feet at the waterline, thanks to the easily identifiable and fine curved S&S bow.
The boat’s first Sydney to Hobart race was only months after its launch in 1970 and its best performance in the famous bluewater race would be that race, fifth outright and seventh on corrected time. The boat went on to compete in eight more Sydney Hobarts, the last in 1978, plus the inaugural Sydney to Suva race in 1976. On the way back to Australia the boat accidentally hit and was then rammed by a cranky Sperm whale, smashing the rudder and sending the crew limping into Brisbane port for repairs…”
Pic – Sail Port Stephens media